1996 Ford F250, 7.3 diesel. Steering column has been loose for a bit, which makes me suspect the switch.....Started truck fine to come home from work. Pulled into driveway and as soon as I turned the key to off, the starter started turning over. Turned the switch back to on, engine ran, starter stopped. Thought it might be the loose column, jiggled it around to no avail. Kept shutting the switch off, still ran the starter, finally, POOF, big puff of smoke out from under the hood, and it quit. Now, no starter. Thinking it could possibly be the solonoid, although it is new.....really not looking forward to tearing into the column and the switch!

  • When it did this, was the instrument panel active? Meaning, did it look like the truck was on (even though the key was out), or was the starter turning over the only thing weird?
    – 3Dave
    May 11, 2017 at 13:33
  • No. Shut the key off and the entire panel shut down, like it was supposed to. I recently had a new starter installed, which failed and was replaced again. Wondering if perhaps the bendix failed, couldn't tell if the starter was turning over while running, diesels are so dang loud! So, to edit the original post, I'm not so sure the starter stopped when the key was turned back on.....smoke could've been the bendix burning out....baffled!
    – user28617
    May 11, 2017 at 17:43
  • Talked to my mechanic (who sold me the starter new 6 months ago) said it's the starter gone bum! Fortunately, it was still under warranty from the last starter issue....at least I'm hopin', haven't heard from them yet. Thanks.
    – user28617
    May 12, 2017 at 0:15

1 Answer 1


The ignition switch is pretty simple. Just get access to the steering column. A 7mm socket to remove the connector and a torx socket to remove the switch. It's either a 25 or 30 torx. Hope this helps.

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